Stelios preps launch of easyMobile

'Cheap, efficient mobile telephony' apparently

Stelios Haji-Ioannou - the man behind no frills airline easyJet and the easyInternet cybercafe chain - looks set to announce details of his new discount mobile phone business.

According to Reuters, Stelios could be about to blab as early as tomorrow announcing details that easyMobile is to team up with Danish operator TDC A/S, which will look after billing and network side of the new operation.

Stelios reckons his easyMobile venture will shake up the mobile sector in much the same way that easyJet and other discount operators turned the airline industry on its head.

In February, Stelios floated the idea that he would set up easyTelecom - a virtual network operator offering cut-price tariffs for mobile users. The name may have changed, but the philosophy behind the new operation is unlikely to have budged. Back then, a spokesman for the outfit said the business model behind the venture was simple and straightforward: "We'll provide cheap, efficient mobile telephony."

Indeed, responding to comments made by Sir Richard Branson that Stelios is "too late" to join the mobile telephony market, the easy entrepreneur declared: "Let battle commence!"

On the easyMobile website he explains: "Mobile telephony is going through an even faster evolution than the airline industry. Virgin Mobile was a good idea 4-5 years ago selling 'funky' handsets through high street shops with expensive airtime and all the gimmicks! I have now discovered that the best of class business model is the one practiced in Denmark where prices for consumers have come down significantly.

"Selling just sim cards from a website with cheap pre-paid airtime, is the most efficient way to use mobile telephony. People can use their current handsets and virgin mobile can carry on selling their expensive, funky handsets through their expensive high street shops. Internet retailing is about to take the mobile world by storm." ®

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